Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Open Agenda Publishing launches a Newsstand app for its weekly multimedia magazine, Ideas Roadshow

Open Agenda Publishing has launched an iPad edition of its multimedia magazine into the Apple Newsstand, Ideas Roadshow. The digital magazine is, in essence, an hour long video in an app container, with introduction and transcription of the video interview.

The first issue inside the Newsstand app is an interview with David Bellos, Director, Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University. The interview is conducted by Howard Burton, who is the CEO at the Canada-based Open Agenda Publishing, and the host of the Ideas Roadshow video programs.

The digital magazine can really only be called a magazine due to its Newsstand presence, and the fact that the term magazine has seriously evolved over the years, as witnessed by its frequent use to describe news programming on television.

The app opens to the store where monthly and annual subscriptions are available. Inside the library is the first digital issue, available free until June 7.

The first issue weighs in at 424 MB, but that is due only to the hour long video. The layouts, that work in both orientations, are very simple, and broken out into chapters as one would an eBook. In fact, except for the video, one could see the this as a Kindle Single.

Ideas Roadshow are offering the issues for sale on their website in two forms: a video edition and an eBook edition, both priced at $2.99. The eBook is a PDF download, though the website states that they will soon be available inside the Apple iBookstore, Google Play "etc.".

As for the iPad app, the pricing here is very high: $9.99 for a monthly subscription, and $99.99 for an annual subscription. Regular users of the App Store will probably find these prices too high, but I'm sure the team at Ideas Roadshow believe they are fair. If they can find an audience at this level of pricing it would be a good sign that the digital newsstands can drive pricing set at fair and profitable levels.